Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish leaders to urge EU to decide on tougher sanctions against Lukashenko's regime

  • 2021-11-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish prime ministers will call on the European Union (EU) to decide on "tougher sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko's violent regime", the Latvian prime minister's spokesman Sandis Sabajevs informed LETA. 

Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) on Monday had a discussion on the current situation at the Polish-Belarusian border with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Karins stressed that Latvia, Lithuania and Poland stand united in their fight against the hybrid attack launched by the Lukashenko regime.

Karins said that the Lukashenko regime is responsible for the tense situation as it intentionally puts citizens of third countries in harm's way. The Latvian prime minister also emphasized the importance of international organizations' involvement in dealing with the situation at the border with Belarus. 

The Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish prime ministers will keep in touch to coordinate the protection of the EU's external border.

Today, Karins will discuss the situation at the Belarusian border and further necessary steps with European Council President Ursula von der Leyen. 

Latvian President Egils Levits said on social networks that he had discussed the situation with his Polish colleague Andrzej Duda. In his opinion, Europe needs to consider sanctions against airlines and airports that are involved in bringing migrants to Belarus. "We have the right and duty to protect our common external border," Levits  said, adding that this would also require amending EU law. 

After the conversation with the three prime minister, Leyen issued a statement calling for more extensive sanctions against Belarus and possibly also third-country airlines.

The use "of migrants for political purposes is unacceptable", she said in a statement. Brussels would also look at how to sanction "third-country airlines" that brought migrants to Belarus, she added.

As reported, Latvia strongly condemns the Belarusian regime's hybrid operation against the European Union (EU) in which citizens of third countries are being organized and sent across the EU border, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said following a coalition meeting on Monday.

We are watching developments at the Belarusian-Polish border very closely, said Karins who is scheduled to talk with the prime ministers of Poland and Lithuania tonight. The premier underlined that Latvia is in "close contact" with Lithuania and Poland and working as one link of the EU's external border.

Karins said that since the government declared a state of emergency on the border with Belarus, the border is being very professionally guarded round-the-clock by the State Border Guard, home guards and the police.

Specialists from these services are highly professional and experienced and we are prepared for various scenarios, the prime minister said.

Interior Minister Marija Golubeva (Development/For) informed coalition partners that a larger section of the temporary barbed wire fence has been installed on the border and that its remaining section will likely be ready by the end of November.

Juris Puce, chairman of the Development/For group in the Saeima, also said that the situation at the Belarusian-Polish border is very alarming and suggests that Belarus has decided to ramp up its actions against EU member states.

Development/For have discussed the situation with Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For) and Interior Minister Golubeva who are following the situation, Puce said. Latvian authorities are ready to respond to any action the Belarus regime might take against the Latvian border, Puce said.

As reported, several thousand migrants in winter clothes and carrying backpacks massed near the Belarusian-Polish border on Monday, trying to cross the border. Polish authorities reported that the migrants' first attempts to cross the border were repelled. 

Guntis Pujats, chief of the Latvian State Border Guard, informed LETA that the situation on the Latvian-Belarusian border is currently relatively stable.